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46.7 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds employed in July 2020, down 9.5 percentage points from July 2019

August 24, 2020

Youth employment grows sharply between April and July each year. During these months, many high school and college students take summer jobs, and graduates enter the labor market for permanent employment. In July 2020, there were 17.5 million employed 16- to 24-year-olds. Between April and July, the number of employed youth rose by 4.4 million, or 33.5 percent. This was the largest April to July employment change among youth since data began in 1948. The change, however, reflected both the seasonal pattern of youth finding jobs and some economic activity resuming after the deep job losses in March and April related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the employment increase, there were fewer youth employed in July than in February 2020, before the pandemic unfolded in many parts of the United States. The employment–population ratio for youth—the proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds with a job—was 46.7 percent in July 2020. That was down 9.5 percentage points from July 2019.

Employment–population ratios of 16- to 24-year-olds in July, 2004–20, not seasonally adjusted
Year Total Men Women White Black or
African American
Asian Hispanic or Latino

2004

58.9% 62.0% 55.8% 62.8% 42.4% 47.8% 54.6%

2005

59.3 61.6 57.0 62.8 44.7 46.7 54.1

2006

59.2 61.9 56.5 63.3 43.5 42.8 55.2

2007

58.0 60.3 55.6 61.7 43.0 45.6 52.5

2008

56.0 57.9 54.2 59.7 41.2 46.4 50.5

2009

51.4 52.2 50.5 55.2 36.4 41.3 46.5

2010

48.9 49.9 48.0 53.0 34.4 37.9 43.6

2011

48.8 50.2 47.3 52.3 34.6 40.5 42.9

2012

50.2 51.9 48.4 53.5 38.9 37.4 46.5

2013

50.7 51.7 49.6 54.3 38.6 39.2 47.4

2014

51.9 53.6 50.1 55.4 39.8 40.8 47.0

2015

52.7 53.9 51.4 55.8 44.7 39.8 49.1

2016

53.2 54.9 51.5 56.5 42.7 38.8 49.8

2017

54.8 56.1 53.4 57.2 46.9 42.7 50.9

2018

55.0 55.2 54.8 58.0 47.2 39.7 51.7

2019

56.2 57.3 55.1 58.9 49.8 41.0 51.3

2020

46.7 47.7 45.8 49.5 39.2 32.0 42.6

Employment–population ratios in July 2020 were lower than in July 2019 for young men and women, Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics. For these groups, the employment–population ratios were between 8.7 and 10.6 percentage points lower than in July 2019.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see “Employment and Unemployment among Youth — Summer 2020.” People whose ethnicity is Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 46.7 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds employed in July 2020, down 9.5 percentage points from July 2019 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/46-7-percent-of-16-to-24-year-olds-employed-in-july-2020-down-9-5-percentage-points-from-july-2019.htm (visited April 20, 2021).

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